One year and 7 months after I had injured my back again for the 4th time in 5 years (and this time was the worse with four herniated discs that had left me almost immobile at the pick of the crisis), I can proudly say I’m healed again! Back to not only managing fine in normal daily life, but to full intense practice again. Practice never looks the same and is the perfect example of an evolving and always deepening process of refining, so there I am! Did I go through what surgeons had suggested, ie spinal fusion/discectomy and so on? No: yoga healed me. It almost killed me but in the end, it healed me once again. It did not happen in one day. It took me all of this time and all of the ups and downs of the healing process. I had to heal on several levels, not only physical. Emotionally I had a big leftover healing to do, too. I had to leave Auroville, a place in India I had made into my home for 20 years.
I had to close down my Auroville shala, a place where a lot of magic had happened through the years. I had to be ready to stay with the unknown of my future and let go of advance planning. I had to witness the spreading of the beautiful grown up wings of my boys and they’re leaving the nest. I had to go through standard and “alternative” healing modalities and in the end, let them all go when nothing seemed to work. I had to let go of the attachment to my practice, a practice that I had cultivated for 18 years only to see it falling apart piece after piece day after day as the injury got worse and worse. I had to let even go of the teaching for a few months. I was left with nothing that had become my identity, I was left naked with nothing else to hold on to but myself and my own resources. I had to discover by myself what would in the end heal me, using modalities that did not always make sense as for recognised standards, finding what would work everyday differently, researching on my own body, pass through trial and error, never assuming that what worked one day would continue working the day after, taking nothing for granted, ready to stay absolutely in the moment, laughing at my projections of how I had decided my healing would happen….Nothing happened as I had envisaged it, it only took me to let go of knowing and being in charge, and stay open and listen to what was making sense to me and only me, believing that I knew my body and myself better than anyone else albeit well intentioned.
I broke down and I pulled myself together again. Everyday ready to not knowing, and receiving what wanted to happen in its own terms. My body healed, and my heart healed, too. I allowed myself to fall in love again, and I gave permission to love to be in my life again. I opened up to receive big time love, and let it do its work and magic. In the end, what worked for me was a combination of physical and emotional epiphanies, and never losing faith in yoga as a healing and transformative practice. Trusting I was put exactly where I needed to be, and that I was safe where I was. It is indeed a sacred journey we are on when we embark on it, and to have come across such a precious tool is indeed a privilege. Injury forces you to stay even more present than when everything works fine, and so do strong emotions. Immensely grateful to all those who have extended their help in so many different ways during the last year or so: with physical modalities, emotional support, friendship, their love, their just showing up on the mat every day to reinforce my faith in yoga even when I had sometimes almost lost it.
To all the students everywhere. I cannot say nothing will happen again, as such are the ways of the world, but at least we seem to be getting better and better equipped as we keep navigating this beautiful mystery we call life. One step at the time…
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